Medical Imaging

CT (CAT) Scan > Exams & Procedures > CT Abdomen

A CT of the abdomen and pelvis is performed to evaluate the organs of the body including: liver, pancreas, stomach, bowel, kidneys, bladder, blood vessels.

  • The scan takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • You will be asked to arrive one hour before your scheduled appointment time.
  • In most cases, you will be required to drink oral contrast, which makes the stomach and bowel easier to see. You may feel full after drinking the oral contrast.
  • It takes around 60 minutes for the oral contrast to move through your system.
  • You will then be asked to change into a hospital gown and to remove any metal objects that may interfere with the scan.
  • In some cases rectal contrast may be needed, especially if your doctor needs to see your lower bowel in detail. If rectal contrast is needed, a small tube will be placed in the rectum and contrast will be infused into the bowel, much like an enema.
  • The technologist will explain the procedure to you and will be pleased to answer any question you may have.
  • The Technologist can see and hear you at all times during the scan and can communicate with you via the intercom.
  • Women should inform the technologist if there is any possibility that they may be pregnant.

Will I need to have a needle?

Maybe. You may require an injection of intravenous contrast, which may be needed to evaluate blood vessels and tumours. You may feel a warm sensation throughout your body after the injection of the contrast, and you may experience a metallic taste in your mouth. These sensations are normal and disappear after a few minutes. The technologist will discuss the injection with you before the scan is completed, and will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.